UPSL Forward Marcel Joseph (SCU Heat) Making The Most of Bahamas National Team Call-ups
Nick Lewis always had a dream of creating a top men’s travel soccer club in the Columbia, South Carolina area. He got his start in the men’s travel soccer game through hosting some of the best players from South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina to do cash-prize soccer tournaments. Eventually the idea outgrew a Sunday league set up and the guys saw the UPSL as the obvious next step.
When the South Carolina United Heat officially became members of the UPSL, the club was able to attract even more talent from the area. With Head Coach Asher Quave-Robinson, who coaches at the College level and has connections to player agents overseas, the club saw an influx of players with professional soccer ambitions.
It was at the college level that Coach Asher met future UPSL and SCU Heat standout Marcel Joseph playing NCAA Division II soccer.
“My first impressions of him was that of a dynamic, offensive player from the islands,” Asher explains. With years of experience coaching players from the Caribbean, Asher immediately noticed the young man’s flair and attacking instincts, “He is someone who loves to have the ball, create danger in the offensive third and always has a smile on his face”
“When we first brough him into our UPSL team he didn’t play the first few games, but I remember one game where he scored an amazing volley. Our goal was to get him back to his best and help him achieve his dream of getting more involved in the Bahamian National Team set-up. We began sending his UPSL highlights to the Bahamas and they began monitoring him even more closely.”
“The UPSL Premier Division is a great level to showcase talent and for players to perfect their craft. What made Marcel shine was his mental strength and dedication. He would drive 2 hours to practice and 2 hours back and go to work early next morning. And then put in work on the field. Very hard worker, and very humble”
Marcel had been battling injuries this past year but refused to let injury setbacks hamper his game.
““My first two UPSL games last Fall season, I scored two goals” Marcel explains, “But I had to deal with IT Band issues a lot. I finished that season with 9 goals in 14 games”
Spring season 2022 he was fresh and ready to go, putting up 10 goals and 9 assists in 7 games. With Marcel at striker, the team was scoring goals for fun, that’s when the World Cup Qualifying matches with the Bahamian National Team came around.
Now, with only 12 caps, Marcel sees himself getting more consistent, and at 25 already recognizes the potential for him to be a leader on a young Bahamian team.
“It’s a dream, I came to SCU Heat for the professional program and the scouting exposure. My development was big in UPSL, technically it made me sharper and helped my fitness and getting me back to top. The UPSL is providing a pathway to the professional dream, it simulates the professional environment. I’m consistently playing and training every week and playing year-round was key to my development and helped me maintain callups.”
“Next step is to show out for Bahamas and make a statement as a team. Everything I do is for my professional dream and this league played a huge role”
He explains, “I’m just a kid from the Bahamas chasing the dream, I believe in myself and my abilities. I do it for my family, my brothers and sisters. I was the first in family to graduate college and I plan on being the first to become a full-time professional athlete.
Club Owner Nick and the SCU Heat went on to finish first in the UPSL Premier Division Mid-Atlantic conference with 9 wins out of 10 games, with an undefeated home record. With Marcel missing games due to national team duty, the team still finished the season with 39 goals scored to lead their conference.
After defeating Queen City FC in the Mid-Atlantic Premier Division Playoff semifinals, they face Charleston United SC in the Finals on Saturday, June 25th at 5:00pm EST. Select UPSL Finals matches will be streamed live on Facebook and the official UPSL YouTube channel.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 325 teams nationwide. The UPSL is the largest Pro Development League in North America. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).
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